Before the year 1994, there was hardly any para-gliding or hang gliding pilot in Himachal Pradesh, excepting one, Roshan Lal Thakur from Manali, who had acquired some skill in flying from foreign pilots, often visiting Manali as tourist. Mean while R.P. Gautam who had come on retirement from Central Reserve Police Force as Commandant, visualised the vast potential in paragliding from Bandla mountain. To make his dream come true, he got in contact with Shakti Singh Chandel, the then Director Tourism and Civil Aviation, to extend all possible help to promote paragliding not only in Bilaspur, but also in whole in Himachal Pradesh. The Director Tourism, who himself belonged to Bilaspur, took keen interest in approving Bandla top as take off site, gave financial assistance to run para gliding courses for Bilaspur under Himachal Aero Adventure Institute Bilaspur, which under expert guidance of Mr. Bruce Mills from New Zealand and Alexi Garisimov from Russia,Vikram Sharma the Local Pilot got the pilots trained. Thus Bilaspur was brought on World Map in Paragliding. What is special about Bilaspur, which is not there in flying sites at other places, is that it gives you almost eight hours of flying time as against 3 to 4 hours maximum at Billing or Manali. More over it has vast and safe landing grounds on the bank of Govind Sagar Lake at LUHNU. From training point of view, Bilaspur can be considered the best in whole of Asia. It is laid down in the training manual that training in instability maneuvers during advance pilot course i.e. Dynamic Stall, deep stall, spiral drive, spin reovery, assymmetric tuck, front tuck and deployment of Reserve Parachute, should be carried out over a broad base of water for reasons. For this, there is hardly any place, where there is any huge lake just beside the landing site. Bilaspur has the privilege of having unique combination of Air Sports in one stretch, which is very rare.Local contact person for paragliding in Bilaspur is Vikram Sharma Sonu one may contact him any time at his mail id email@example.com.
Water and River Sports
Govind Sagar reservoir in Bilaspur H.P. with its 56 km length and nearly 3 km breadth, offers a variety of water sports activities in close collaboration with the Directorate tourism and Civil Aviation and Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. Due to fluctuating level of Lake here, the water sports are mainly confined to half of the year i.e. August to January. During this period the activities include swimming, surfing, water-skiing, Kayaking, rowing, canoeing, white water river rafting. Three level of courses are also conducted – beginners, intermediate and advance. For this tourism department of Himachal Pradesh has constructed a huge water sports complex with all the boarding, lodging and equipment facilities. River rafting or white water rafting, as it is also called, is swiftly making Bilaspur a focus for this scintillating sport. For a torrent of adrenaline to gush through every vein and surge cover every muscle, you can race over the rapids of river – Sutlej, right from Rampur to Bilaspur through serpentine path in deep gorges, placid mountains, green alpine meadows and thick forests, all forming an immense spectrum. Non swimmers and novice can also have this thrilling experience in an inplatable rubber dinghy, on some of the gentler rapids. Earnest efforts are on to harness the vast potential in water sports to bring Bilaspur H.P. on the world map.